Showing posts with label Eucharist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eucharist. Show all posts

Sunday, June 16, 2013

What hath Deus vult?

This is the "Holy Pelican" at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in downtown Omaha.

The mother pelican feeding her young on her own flesh and blood is a medieval symbol of both the Eucharist and of charity.

Like what tender tales tell of the Pelican
Bathe me, Jesus Lord, in what Thy Bosom ran
Blood that but one drop of has the pow’r to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.
-- Adoro te devote by St. Thomas Aquinas

MEANTIME in downtown Baton Rouge, Gov. Bobby Jindal -- who God most certainly is going to get, but good, in due time -- today seeks to make this, which adorns Louisiana's state flag and seal, an equally powerful symbol of irony.

What he'll tell people, though, if he sees this picture from Omaha, is that it means God has willed LSU to win the College World Series here.

This well might be the case, actually -- after five years of Jindal's budgetary savagery, my alma mater certainly is due to catch a divine break. Geaux Tigers!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Of pipelines, poseurs and posturing putzes

On a continent 100-percent wrested from native Americans by the white man, and in a state where the United States Army rounded up the Ponca and forcibly delivered them into starvation in the Indian Territory, you have to have a lot of damned nerve to start whining about "not from here" and "carpetbaggers."

Of course, that doesn't stop some Nebraskans if there are political points to be scored.

Enter Jane Fleming Kleeb, who had the unmitigated nerve to have been born in Florida. But it gets worse. She also had the gall to have married a "Nebraskan" raised overseas . . . who has a Ph.D. from Yale. Yale!

But it gets worse than that. The Kleebs are Democrats, and they run for office -- he for the U.S. House and Senate, she for the Hastings school board.

But it gets worse than even that. Jane started something called BOLD Nebraska. We hear that it's full of lib'ruls and "radical enviro cronies" and stuff.

Furthermore, BOLD Nebraska is against the Keystone XL pipeline, through which TransCanada wants to pump Canadian "tar sands" oil trans-Nebraska on the way to Gulf Coast refineries. Kleeb had the gall to suggest it might really screw up the Nebraska Sandhills -- and the massive aquifer below them -- if this new project started belching the corrosive gunk across one of America's most environmentally sensitive regions.

Tuesday in Lincoln, Kleeb and her "radical enviro cronies" were brazen enough to pack a U.S. State Department hearing on the pipeline.

But --
Dare I say it? Can you stand it? -- it gets even worse than that. Take a nitroglycerine pill. Please.

OK, I'm just going to come out with it. In the course of her carpetbagging opposition to controversial Canadian toxic-sludge pipelines traversing much of Nebraska's water supply, Jane Kleeb. . . .

Jane Kleeb . . . .

The outsider, the carpetbagger Jane Kleeb. . . .

I CAN'T even say it, it's so horrible. The Leavenworth St. blog, as loyal and authentic a Nebraska institution as there is -- it's Republican! -- is made of sturdier stuff than I, so I'll just let it break the awful news:
Jane Kleeb likes to stick out like whenever she is out protesting or marching or generally putting on the pouty face with hands on hips.

Well she was making herself “be seen” at Pershing Auditorium in Lincoln yesterday during the State Department hearings on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

But what was she wearing? Take a look.

Yes folks, that is a “Future Farmers of America” jacket.


We are sure Jane will say she was “urged” to wear it, or she didn’t know the rules, or she was trying to represent or some other breathless retort.

But we get it Jane. We get it with the jeans tucked into your boots and the giant belt buckle and now the FFA jacket:

You’re a poser. You are pretending to be something you are not.

You know, like pretending to care about the Sandhills or aquifer, when you’re really just trying to stop the the Canadian oil at the behest of your radical enviro cronies and sugar daddies.

NO, THOSE engaging in the fine art of American politics never pretend to be something they're not. Absolutely unheard of.

Can you imagine Mitt Romney in blue jeans? George H.W. Bush in a supermarket checkout line? Michael Dukakis in a tank? Hillary Clinton speaking with a Southern drawl in a black Baptist church?

Michele Bachmann pretending like she's not six kinds of crazy?

Deal we must, though, with Jane Kleeb in cowboy boots . . . and a Future Farmers of America jacket.

Apparently, you're not supposed to wear cowboy boots unless your day job involves trudging through cow patties. And you're not supposed to wear an FFA jacket if you're not actually a member. It's kind of like present-day tea partiers -- who live in suburban comfort and only make vague threats about revolting against "tyrants" -- dressing up like it's 1775 and waving Gadsden flags.

Only worser.

In a comment, the state Republican Party Chairman Mark Fahleson explains how much worse:
Wow–that’s not really Jane Kleeb wearing an FFA jacket, is it? As the former president of the Waverly FFA Chapter who remains proud of and thankful for his FFA experience, I can assure you that the hallowed blue corduroy is sacrosanct. A non-member (even a former member like me) wearing the jacket is like a non-Catholic taking communion at Mass. Whether it’s non-physicians wearing white coats at pressers or faux cowboys posing as Nebraska ranchers, apparently what matters to Nebraska’s leftists is the visual, not the truth.
MIGHTY BIG TALK for someone from Kansas City, Mo., doing his level best to tar an "outsider" who stands against Canadian carpetbaggers (ones with a long history of leaky pipelines) cutting through the Nebraska Sandhills with a toxic-sludge superhighway.

Of course, I am not surprised that the head of the Nebraska GOP hails from Missouri. I'm from Louisiana, myself, and we Southerners know a thing or two about Republican carpetbaggers.

What really concerns me, though, is that someone can be so warped by politics and partisanship that he can compare an FFA jacket to the Holy Eucharist.

Catholics believe that the consecrated bread and wine has become the actual body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. If you don't believe that, you have no business partaking of it, and you have real problems in calling yourself Catholic.

We call it "communion" for a reason -- it is both sign and cause of our unity as Catholics and of God within us. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this about Holy Communion:

The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life."136 "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch."137

"The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God's action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit."138

Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.139

In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: "Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking."140
AND THE Nebraska Republicans' secular sacrament of the day, the Holy FFA Jacket? It's just a jacket.

Granted, it means a lot to a lot of FFA members who earned one, but when you unstick yourself from stupid and gain a little perspective, you realize that blue corduroy jacket is a lot like the faux outrage of political hacks -- you can get along just fine without it. And them.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Overgrown children at play in hell

A biology professor at a Minnesota university has followed through on his threat to desecrate an allegedly consecrated communion host and a copy of the Koran.

HE ABOVE PHOTO, from P.Z. Myers' blog, shows what the University of Minnesota-Morris faculty member did to what is most sacred to Catholics and Muslims -- to what Catholics believe is the Body of Christ and to what Islam holds as the literal word of Allah:
OK, time for the anticlimax. I know some of you have proposed intricate plans for how to do horrible things to these crackers, but I repeat…it's just a cracker. I wasn't going to make any major investment of time, money, or effort in treating these dabs of unpleasantness as they deserve, because all they deserve is casual disposal. However, inspired by an old woodcut of Jews stabbing the host, I thought of a simple, quick thing to do: I pierced it with a rusty nail (I hope Jesus's tetanus shots are up to date). And then I simply threw it in the trash, followed by the classic, decorative items of trash cans everywhere, old coffeegrounds and a banana peel. My apologies to those who hoped for more, but the worst I can do is show my unconcerned contempt.

By the way, I didn't want to single out just the cracker, so I nailed it to a few ripped-out pages from the Qur'an and The God Delusion. They are just paper. Nothing must be held sacred. Qu
estion everything. God is not great, Jesus is not your lord, you are not disciples of any charismatic prophet. You are all human beings who must make your way through your life by thinking and learning, and you have the job of advancing humanity's knowledge by winnowing out the errors of past generations and finding deeper understanding of reality. You will not find wisdom in rituals and sacraments and dogma, which build only self-satisfied ignorance, but you can find truth by looking at your world with fresh eyes and a questioning mind.
MYERS' ACTIONS belie his words. If the Eucharist really is just a "fraggin' cracker" and the Koran is just bound pieces of paper -- if there is no power in those things, or in peoples' belief in them -- why bother desecrating them?

In a land of intellectual freedom, have not people the right to their "delusions," so long as they remain peacefully deceived? According to the First Amendment and to international human-rights conventions, don't religious believers have the right to practice their faiths in peace?

If so, what is the point of Myers' actions, other than sheer hatefulness and incitement?

If, as the pathetic professor professes, he sees no metaphysical value to a consecrated host or a Muslim holy book, isn't his only point to broadcast his violent hatred of the faithful? In other words, what this 51-year-old (going on 14) college professor is all about is disturbing the peace.

I wonder whether one of Myers' students -- as he stumbled out of a college watering hole -- could get away with pissing on the sidewalk and harassing gay couples if only he possessed the rhetorical sophistication to couch his bad behavior as "freedom of expression."

After all, if the university administration can defend an employee's "hate speech" (and "hate actions") against religious groups and their sacred objects -- remember, Myers holds "nothing must be held sacred" and is willing to go to some length to act on that belief -- what's so "sacred" about un-pissed-upon walkways . . . or gay couples?

Or any couple? Or any law? Or any concept around which society organizes itself?

What, then, is so damned sacred about P.Z. Myers?

IF MINNESOTA-MORRIS can't bring itself to discipline an employee who shows aggressive contempt toward society, its members and public order, what won't it tolerate, then? If desecrating the Eucharist and mutilating a Koran, then publicizing the abuse don't represent "fighting words," then what does?

Indeed, if "nothing must be held sacred," what is so sacred about this overgrown 14-year-old brat's job?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Dear Diary: Going to Eucharistic charm school

EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's another in the occasional series of dispatches recorded some years ago from the front lines of Catholic radio -- Pope FM.

* * *

SATURDAY, FEB. 9, 2002

Dear Diary,

A massive sex scandal (again) is upon the Church -- priests diddling CHILDREN, diddling TEENS, and bishops covering up the whole mess. It is too much to bear. For me, this may well end up being the final straw. I cannot bear this; I cannot bear AmChurch vapidity; I cannot bear "traditionalist" obsession with protocol above all.

If many are to persevere as Catholics, we are going to have to find a way to reconcile doctrine with the fact that many of those whom we are supposed to obey in matters of morals and faith possess neither. And these are the corrupt shepherds God supposedly has given us.

How, exactly, is a body supposed to get his mind around that? And the reality that the faction of the Church so concerned about the Church's eroding moral authority is the most prone to whistle in the graveyard when presented with the gravest erosion of that moral authority. How am I supposed to get my mind around that?

There were two great schisms over less serious stuff than this. I know there is precedent for similar kinds of corruption in the Church. But would there have BEEN a Church anymore had these previous fits of corruption taken place in the age of mass media and a disarmed Vatican?

God help me, I think the only way some superpious types retain their faith with such (apparent) serenity is that they are, on some level, deeply warped.

We had a staff meeting at Pope FM yesterday about the dedication of our Chapel of the Eternal Word this coming Monday. It was like being hurled back to Jansenism 1955.

Listen, I get upset about liturgical abuses. I cringe when I see women going up for communion with their cleavage falling out of their tops. I was apoplectic when I saw a college kid in the communion line on Good Friday with a "Coed Naked Volleyball" T-shirt on. And I came close to doing physical violence to kids at a "youth Mass" who couldn't stop acting up even during the consecration.

But it damned near enraged me to hear our station manager and volunteer "spiritual activities director" imply strongly that while genuflection on one knee is the Vatican requirement, it really doesn't go far enough. Thus, we should feel free to genuflect on both knees or prostrate ourselves when entering the chapel.

And I was sooooooooo encouraged to hear that I would be allowed to enter into the presence of my Lord and Savior only when properly attired. My usual blue jeans, I understand, are OK so long as they are "in good repair." But staff members are not to wear shorts in the chapel, even walking shorts, as we are to set an example for proper reverence.

Walking shorts are OK for visitors.

Our spiritual activities director then said how it dismays her to see kids in shorts at Mass at the boarding-school chapel near her house. Egad!!! I'm sorry, but when it's 95 or 100 degrees here, I wear nice shorts to Mass.

You know, I know people who work at that school, and I know the reputation of Father, and I know that any inappropriately dressed kid would be out of that church in a heartbeat.

But for me, the coup de grace, was when the powers that be decided that on Monday night, the kids in for Keys to the Kingdom will not be allowed into the chapel without adult supervision because they had not been instructed yet in proper chapel decorum. I objected in the strongest terms about denying them the opportunity to be in the Eucharistic presence, saying that if a kid went in there and -- out of ignorance -- wasn't sufficiently reverent, it couldn't be held against him. And if a kid were in there unsupervised and were willfully irreverent, that was a matter between him and God.

Furthermore, I said, suppose someone called into the show and had real problems. Should the kids not on the air be prevented from taking their prayers to the Real Presence?

"Jesus hears our prayers just as well wherever we are," said the spiritual activities maven. "They don't necessarily have to be in the chapel to pray."

I love it when people slow-pitch to Barry Bonds.

"Well," I said, "that would seem to beg the question of why exactly we have a chapel."

At that point, the boss decided that we needed to move on to other topics.

Of course.